About $1 million included in the Maine DOT work plan will contribute to upgrades to Cape Porpoise Pier, which are estimated at about $4.7 million overall. Road projects in Arundel and Kennebunk are also included in the three-year plan. Tammy Wells photo

KENNEBUNKPORT – The Maine Department of Transportation has earmarked $500,000 for improvements at Cape Porpoise Pier this year and another $500,000 for bait shed demolition and reconstruction in 2023-24, as outlined in a statewide three-year work plan issued Jan. 18.

The state transportation money represents a portion of the cost of the proposed expansion  and upgrades to the pier, and the town is awaiting word on other funding to overhaul and extend the facility – in all, a $4.27 million project, Town Manager Laurie Smith estimated at a recent board of selectmen meeting.

The statewide DOT work plan also includes funds for improvements in Kennebunk and Arundel.

In Kennebunk, $1.2 million is earmarked for rehabilitation of the Nash Mill Bridge over the Mousam River on Mill Street in 2023-24. There is also $100,000 in roadside improvements are in the plans for that year on Route 35, about half-mile south of Walker Road.

Kennebunk is also included in a $58,000 planning partnership study for evaluation of two new sections of the Eastern Trail, from Alfred Road to Route 35 and from Route 9 in North Berwick to Perry Oliver Road in Wells.

About $436,0000 has been set aside for rehabilitation of Branch Brook Bridge on the Kennebunk-Wells town line on Route 9A in 2023-24, along with some light capital paving.


In Arundel, preliminary engineering for a mile of Route 111 from Route 35 to Thompson Road is on tap for this year.

There are also plans for replacement of Day’s Mills Bridge over the Kennebunk River in 2023-24, according to the work plan. The project is currently estimated at $1.5 million.

At Route 1 and Log Cabin Road, $435,000 has been set aside for traffic light replacement in 2023-24, $480,000 for culvert replacement about 4/10 of a mile south of Old Post Road and $415,0000 in paving funds has been set aside for Route 1  about a third of a mile of work from River Road  to Limerick Road.

The DOT provided $42,171 in local road assistance to Arundel in 2021, $155,295 to Kennebunk, and $43,460 to Kennebunkport along with ditching, roadway shoulder rebuilding, and an array of other tasks in the three communities, according to the work plan.

Maine DOT Commissioner Bruce Van Note said the state is accustomed to working in the “MacGyver mode ” – doing what it can with what it has, but he said there are signals matters might improve.

“It’s too early to tell; we need to know more about goals that affect the scope of our work, construction costs, and the extent and sustainability of new funding,” he said in a news release. “Still, for the first time in many years, it feels like we can begin to consider moving from reactive patching to proactive planning.”

He said once federal funds begin to flow from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that passed in November, it will provide an increase in reliable formula funding to help address construction cost inflation fueled by tight labor and material markets. Further, he said, the infrastructure law provides a hefty increase in competitive discretionary grant programs, though the regulations for those will not be available for several months.

Van Note pointed also to legislation proposed by Gov. Janet Mills and approved in 2021 that provided nearly $106 million in general funds to the DOT and said voters in November passed a $100 million bond to provide a state match to other funds.

He noted the state DOT is also furthering its partnerships with municipalities.

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